Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things We Can Do Better If We Practice

You know, I started writing the title of this entry as "Things That Get Better with Practice," but even though the words were flowing, my brain was throwing up a flag and screeching "penalty!". Things don't get better with practice. We get better at doing things when we practice doing them. Maybe I'm just channeling an English teacher from my past (thank you, Mrs. Howard, Miss Mattingly, Mrs. Alicna, etc. ), but this nitpicking with the order of words in my sentence has a purpose.

Go ahead, try it. Say to yourself, "Things that get better with practice." Let your mind fill in the blanks. Notice anything? If you're like me, your self-(un)confidence started jumping up and down and shouting out a long list of all the things you don't think you can do well. Can't draw. Can't throw a spiral pass. Can't jog a mile. Can't this. Can't that. When I think about it in those terms, my list keeps expanding. Can't fix things. Can't quilt. Can't knit. Can't, can't, can't.

Now, rephrase it. Try saying to yourself that there are "things we can do better if we practice." Aha! If (and that can be one ginormous IF at times for me) I practice drawing every day, I will get better at sketching from pictures. If I practice walking a few steps every day until I'm ready to jog a few steps every day, I will start running. If I practice fixing things every day, I will know where most of the tools are hidden in the house and garage and shed. (I can tell you with certainty that I still won't be any better at fixing things, but I will improve at finding the tools that would help another person fix things, LOL).

So, I'm rephrasing my soft and loopy and hard to pin down New Year's resolutions. For starters, I am going to draw something every day. In fact, I've been doing that this week. This is where I say once again that Capt. Elaine's sketches, drawings, and paintings are an inspiration! For a few years now, I've watched her progress. Ah, another semantic point-- progress can be a noun or a verb! What amazes me about Elaine is the way she puts the verb "progress" into action. Anyway, the idea is that practice is good. Practice is beneficial. Practicing, instead of practicing thinking about practicing, is good and beneficial. It leads to progress.

I'm ready to "be" that verb for a while, ya know? I'm ready to progress.

Here's to the new year and new skills and new confidence!


rosebud101 said...

Ang, what a great way of thinking about things! My new mantra: If I practice my stringer control everyday, I will get better at it.
Thank you!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Good post, Ang! You're right about the first thing we think about is what we can't do or how bad we are at it. I've got a few new years resolutions I'm working on too - keep plugging away and we'll all get better!

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Great post as for me. I'd like to read a bit more about that matter. Thnx for giving that material.
Joan Stepsen
Purely gadgets

angelinabeadalina said...

Go, girls! Mallory, I know you can do that! Cindy, you will achieve your goals! Joan, there are some great links to drawing "stuff" on Elaine's blog, too. The keep plugging away part is what it takes...and what is usually my downfall. I've decided this time to just keep starting over as needed, instead of whining and wringing my hands about how far I'd be if I hadn't stopped plugging away.